If anything was ever truly "classical," it is the landscape of Attica. Attikí is a mountainous region, bounded on three sides by the sea and an indented coastline fringed with innumerable beaches. On stony foothills pungently aromatic shrubs grow: thyme, myrtle, and lentisk. Higher up, the feathery Aleppo pine of Attica becomes supplanted by dark firs. Inland, gently undulating hills are laced
with vineyards and, over all, hangs the famed light, the purest of lights sharply delineating a majestic land.
It is the proper setting for a region immensely rich in mythological and historical allusions. In fact, recorded history began here, in the towns of the Boeotian plain, although where legend leaves off and fact begins is often a matter of conjecture (witness Thebes, home to the luckless Oedipus). However, the story of Attica has been almost inextricably bound to that of Athens, the most powerful of the villages that lay scattered over the peninsula. By force and persuasion Athens brought these towns together, creating a unit that by the 5th century BC had become the center of an empire.
The heart of the region was the sacred precinct of Delphi. For the ancient Greeks, this site was the center of the universe, home to Apollo and the most sacred oracle, and, today, its archaeological site remains a principal place of pilgrimage.
For more worldly pleasures, travelers head to the sun-gilt sea bordering the Athens Riviera and the "Apollo Coast"—home to the famed Temple to Poseidon atop Cape Sounion.